Photo by Rick Bigland                                Krista Paulen’s 2006 Honda Pilot mysteriously lost a wheel on the way home from a family vacation in Summerland, B.C.

Photo by Rick Bigland Krista Paulen’s 2006 Honda Pilot mysteriously lost a wheel on the way home from a family vacation in Summerland, B.C.

Blackfalds family believes lug nuts purposely loosened in B.C. after wheel flies off

The incident occurred Thursday near Canmore

A central Alberta nurse and her three children narrowly escaped injury after the front tire of their SUV flew off while they were travelling home from Summerland, B.C.

On Thursday at around 5:30 p.m., Krista Paulsen was driving her 2006 Honda Pilot when the front wheel came off on Highway 1 near Canmore, according to Paulsen’s father, Rick Bigland.

Paulsen, who CBC has indentified as a Blackfalds resident, had left Summerland and headed home towards Canmore at 9:30 a.m. after a three-week stay with her parents.

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Fortunately, Paulsen was able to maintain control of her car and get it off the road. However, the car sustained damage to the hub and rim, and the tire continued rolling some distance down the highway after coming off the car.

According to Bigland, it was apparent from looking at the car that all five lug nuts had come off the wheel. He said the car had not had any wheel work done for several months prior to the incident, and that the car had been parked almost solely in Summerland for the duration of Paulsen’s holiday, occasionally going to the local beach in Summerland.

Paulsen had not stopped anywhere on the trip except for gas, according to Bigland.

All three other wheels’ lug nuts were tight and secure, which is why Bigland thinks the lug nuts on the front driver’s side were intentionally loosened sometime during her stay in Summerland.

“The only conclusion is that someone had loosened the lug nuts on the car while it was parked at the residence in Summerland or at the beach in Summerland,” he said.

The vehicle has Alberta plates.

Bigland said the Summerland RCMP are looking into the matter, but Mounties declined to comment publicly.

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